We’re in! Basil and I are registered for the 2013 Five Boro Bike Tour — 42 miles through all five boroughs accompanied by 30,000 people and their cycles. Registration — a 24-hour-only event — opened at noon on January 22, and by 12:08 our verification came through, with a follow-up email confirmation at 12:19. (Yes, I was ready to go at the stroke of noon.)
I’ve met a surprising number of people who have done the tour, and have also enthusiastically (and extensively) researched reviews and anecdotes online. Apparently, this event has equal potential to be triumphant, miserable, fantastic and/or the most awful thing imaginable.
What it won’t be, it seems, is your standard 42 mile bicycle ride. In spite of a slew of helpful prep tips online, if history repeats itself, huge numbers of people will dust off their bikes for this event alone — there will be gawkers, photo-takers, overwhelmed Sunday riders (are they Sunday riders if this is the only time they ride during the entire year?), and people who just plain have no clue about how to cope with either the route or the massive number of Other People.
Never mind — it’s an experience, and I knew that Basil and I had to attempt it at least once. (We’re training, though, just so you know.) Roads are closed for the event, and, let’s face it, I’d never, ever, be able to ride through all five boroughs of New York City on a single day on my own.
I’ll be gawking, too, and taking photos. But I’m going to do my best to remember that it’s an event, not a race, and closer to a party — think “celebration of New York” — than a pure cycling moment.